Retired couple booked 51 back-to-back cruises as it's cheaper than living in retirement home
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Sun, sea and saving money; a retired couple are officially winning at life as they're spending their golden years enjoying 51 back-to-back cruises for less than the cost of a retirement home.
Marty and Jess Ansen, from Australia, have enjoyed cruising holidays for decades, but just like the rest of us they were forced to stay put on dry land when the coronavirus outbreak brought the industry to a halt.
The couple were desperate to get back out on the water, and when the time finally came, they never wanted to leave it again.
In June last year, Jess and Marty boarded the Coral Princess ship to enjoy indulgent buffets, entertainment and table tennis matches.
More than a year on, they're still there.
Marty told A Current Affair: "Eventually I said to my agent, 'Look, whatever comes, book it' and that's how it got to be such a long cruise."
The pair ended up booking 51 back-to-back cruises, staying on board longer than anyone else on the ship - even the captain.
"The wheels change over but we stay on board," Marty said, while Jess added: "We welcome the different captains on board."
Ren van Rooyen, the hotel manager on board the Coral Princess ship, confirmed that Jess and Marty are the most dedicated passengers they have.
"We always make a joke that I go away and I come back and it's like coming to see my family - my mum and dad again - they're like my second mum and dad on board," Van Rooyen said.
Onboard the ship, Jess and Marty get all of their meals included, as well as the benefit of daily housekeeping in the bedroom.
The breakdown has left Jess and Marty convinced that their cruising lifestyle is cheaper than being in a retirement home, with the added benefit of making strong connections with the staff members on board.
Last month, the crew surprised Jess on board for her birthday.
While some tourists are ready to go back to dry land after just a week on a ship, Jess and Marty have come up with a daily routine to keep them healthy and entertained.
They start every day with an hour of table tennis together, with Jess saying: "We do it together and we have a lot of fun."
The great-grandma added that the games make for the perfect exercise ahead of a day of enjoying the cruise's buffets.
With more than 450 days of none-stop cruising under their belts, Jess and Marty have said they'd keep the trips going for the rest of their lives, if they could.
The pair are truly living the dream!